Optimising the Use of Linked Administrative Data for Infectious Diseases Research in Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Infectious diseases remain a major cause of morbidity in Australia. A wealth of data exists in administrative datasets, which are linked through established data-linkage infrastructure in most Australian states and territories. These linkages can support robust studies to investigate the burden of disease, the relative contribution of various aetiological agents to disease, and the effectiveness of population-based prevention policies - research that is critical to the success of current and future vaccination programs. At a recent symposium in Perth, epidemiologists, clinicians and policy makers in the infectious diseases field discussed the various benefits of, and barriers to, data-linkage research, with a focus on respiratory infection research. A number of issues and recommendations emerged. The demand for data-linkage projects is starting to outweigh the capabilities of exisiting data-linkage infrastructure. There is a need to further streamline processes relating to data access, increase data sharing and conduct nationally collaborative projects. Concerns about data security and sharing across jurisdictional borders can be addressed through multiple safe data solutions. Researchers need to do more to ensure that the benefits of linking datasets to answer policy-relevant questions are being realised for the benefit of community groups, government authorities, funding bodies and policy makers. Increased collaboration and engagement across all sectors can optimise the use of linked data to help reduce the burden of infectious diseases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Health Research and Practice
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

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Information Storage and Retrieval
Communicable Diseases
Information Dissemination
Administrative Personnel
Research
Computer Security
Respiratory Tract Infections
Vaccination
Research Personnel
Morbidity
Population
Datasets

Cite this

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title = "Optimising the Use of Linked Administrative Data for Infectious Diseases Research in Australia",
abstract = "Infectious diseases remain a major cause of morbidity in Australia. A wealth of data exists in administrative datasets, which are linked through established data-linkage infrastructure in most Australian states and territories. These linkages can support robust studies to investigate the burden of disease, the relative contribution of various aetiological agents to disease, and the effectiveness of population-based prevention policies - research that is critical to the success of current and future vaccination programs. At a recent symposium in Perth, epidemiologists, clinicians and policy makers in the infectious diseases field discussed the various benefits of, and barriers to, data-linkage research, with a focus on respiratory infection research. A number of issues and recommendations emerged. The demand for data-linkage projects is starting to outweigh the capabilities of exisiting data-linkage infrastructure. There is a need to further streamline processes relating to data access, increase data sharing and conduct nationally collaborative projects. Concerns about data security and sharing across jurisdictional borders can be addressed through multiple safe data solutions. Researchers need to do more to ensure that the benefits of linking datasets to answer policy-relevant questions are being realised for the benefit of community groups, government authorities, funding bodies and policy makers. Increased collaboration and engagement across all sectors can optimise the use of linked data to help reduce the burden of infectious diseases.",
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